The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 31, 2012

Sooners can play for more than pride

NORMAN — No national championship remains for Oklahoma. Still, there is talk about a Big 12 title, though it seems almost equally unlikely.

Kansas State would have to lose twice, and even though the Wildcats may scare nobody, just who’s going to beat them once?

Seven games in and the Sooners have been bounced from all of their chases. It’s an amazing thing.

Last season, they weren’t out of the national championship race until Baylor bounced them, the 10th game of the season, and still played Bedlam for the conference crown.

The year before that, OU wasn’t done until it couldn’t push it in against Texas A&M, two weeks after it couldn’t push it in against Missouri. The Aggies were the Sooners’ ninth game that season.

Take away the Sun Bowl year, 2009, and the last time Bob Stoops’ bunch endured two losses in the space of the first seven games of the season was 2006, when OU began with a highway robbery loss at Oregon and a Cotton Bowl defeat three weeks later … and still came back to win the first of three straight Big 12 championships, led by that great quarterback Paul Thompson.

Perhaps that only depresses the present, because here OU sits with what exactly to play for?

The crazy thing?

It feels like there’s more to play for. It seems nothing like last season, or the year before.

Monday, Bob Stoops, backed his team.

“We still have a lot of games to go and it’s always a fight to get better,” he said. “This team has been great to coach — their attitude, everything about them.”

Stacy McGee went off and got himself suspended before the season began. So did Geneo Grissom, for a game. And that’s been it. Injuries have been an issue on the offensive line, but that’s bad luck rather than poor character.

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